2 Months Home with Everly

Daffodils are proudly popping up throughout our little neighborhood.  Every year this time, their happy yellow and buttercream faces are some of the first to announce that warmer days are coming. Yesterday I noticed the purple blooms of our magnolia tree making a slow yet bold appearance, and everywhere else I look outside there are trees full of little white flowers.
Just like every year, I don’t think any of us could’ve waited another day for Spring to come.  And just like every year, these flowers arrive without hesitation and with a little bit of sass, as if they knew there were a few weeks of so much midwestern gray that I actually doubted the possibility of their arrival.
Spring and all of its generous metaphors fit well with the adoption season we are in.  Some of the cold, hard days of transition have passed. I know it doesn’t mean there won’t be hard days ahead.   But right now, 2 months in, there’s color where there wasn’t any before.
Everly is saying a good handful of English words now. Those spoken words are like the tip of an iceberg, with the larger amount she actually understands beneath the surface. It’s amazing to watch her learn and grow.  She waves hello and goodbye to people we know instead of shaking her head or hiding her face towards one of us.  There are less tears. She loves to go out and is very enthusiastic about putting her shoes on and getting everyone else’s shoes ready at our door.  Her resiliance amazes me.
Just this past week she’s started calling me “mama/mommy” and that has been a gift too wonderful for words.  While she’s been able to say “mama/mommy” and “dada/daddy” for awhile, it’s been new to hear her specifically call out for us by those names. She’s
also begun to sing! Her favorite song to sing along to is Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.  It’s unbelievably cute to hear her sound out some of the parts and sing along when Matt or I sing it to her.
People often tell us that she is so lucky, and while we know everyone who says this might mean well, it’s not true.  It’s easy to look at adoption like some sort of rescue effort.  I will admit, we have thought of it that way in the past.  But it’s different than that.  Not only does that view put a ton of pressure on those who are being adopted, it makes false heroes out of those who adopt.  We are not heroes.  We are people.  We are parents.  We said yes to one step that led to another.  Our girl?  She is a treasure and we couldn’t be more humbled that we get to be her parents.

We are the lucky ones. 

Growing our family through adoption has rescued our hearts from the curse of predictability and that false sense of control that begs to be clung to.  Already, 2 months in, the thought of “what if we hadn’t…” is impossible to bear. Everly makes us laugh around the dinner table like we haven’t before.  Her tenderness has softened some of the rough edges I didn’t even know we had.
This past month God has reminded me that He is immeasurable and He gives immeasurably. He is healer. He makes all things new. He sustains and he builds. He’s made us, all of us, for dependence and belonging.
There are still challenges and unknowns ahead, but hope holds us together, and by the grace of God we feel it rising in us the way Spring promises life after loss with each new bloom and fresh backdrop of green.